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NEW BIC Survey Reveals that Canadians who Colour Code do so to Categorize, Prioritize, and Retain Information

Jul 9 2024

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We may be living in the digital age, but Canadians still place real value on taking notes by hand. A new survey commissioned by BIC Canada* reveals that 62 per cent of Canadians prefer to take notes using a pen or pencil with paper. Even young Canadians aged 18 to 34 prefer handwriting notes to using digital methods such as phones, laptops or tablets. And 43 per cent of Canadians who take notes use colour coding of notes for a variety of reasons including categorizing, prioritizing and retaining information. As we enter the annual back-to-school period, BIC, a global leader in stationery, helps everyone write their own success story with insight, advice and simple, reliable products including its iconic 4 Color Pen that helps organize notes with an easy click of colour.

Write On the Money

The BIC survey results clearly show the benefits of writing by hand over typing, as well as the merits of colour coding notes. These practices have been praised for everything from boosting memory to improving test performance. Here are a few highlights from the survey:

  • An astonishing 77 per cent of survey respondents believe handwritten notes help improve memory retention over notes taken digitally. This is consistent across all demographics.
  • Young Canadians are more likely to employ colour coding in their daily routines, perhaps prompted by research and influencers promoting the practice as a positive study and organizational habit.
  • Canadians who colour code notes say it helps them categorize information (82%), prioritize tasks (62%), and enhance memory retention (36%).
  • Over a third of those aged 18 to 34 who use colour coding in their everyday life believe that it helps them study more efficiently, while a quarter of them feel it helps with learning comprehension.

Colour Me Organized 

Whether for study notes, everyday reminders or journaling, colour coding seems to be growing in popularity with everyone from influencers to government bodies to educational institutions extoling the virtues of the practice. However, like anything, the easier it is to execute, the more likely we are to put this knowledge into action. The BIC 4 Color Pen is a classic solution as it puts a drawerful of pens in your hand. No need to search through a pencil case, junk drawer or backpack to find what you need to add colour your ideas.

“Many of us grew up with the classic BIC 4 Color Pen and fondly remember its bright blue and white barrel and the soft clicking sound heard when changing ink colour,” says James Cheng, Brand Marketing Manager, Human Expression, BIC Canada. “This nostalgic classic is still a top seller and heads up a 4 Color family that provides a pen for every side of us, including this year’s introduction of a metallic Shine option.”

A Colourful Family 

Whether you’re looking to excel in educational or personal endeavours – or both – BIC 4 Color Pens offer vibrant options to help you succeed:

  • BIC 4 Color: Introduced in 1970, this is the original, world-renowned multifunction pen that lets you choose from four ink colours – black, blue, red, and green – with a simple click. The long-lasting ink offers reliability.
  • NEW BIC 4 Color Shine: This newest family member helps you shine with all the colourful benefits of the original 4 Color Pen along with a modern, metallic barrel to add even more brilliance to your writing. Award yourself a gold, silver or bronze coloured barrel. Or dazzle with metallic blue.
  • BIC 4 Color Pen + Pencil: This is truly the ideal all-in-one option, as you can choose to click for a mechanical pencil or popular ink colours of blue, black or red. Perfect for science and math students, as well as those of us who like to fix our mistakes, this pen comes with pencil lead refills and an eraser head.
  • BIC 4 Color Smooth: If a smooth gel-like feel is your jam, this pen is for you! Enjoy the clickable benefits of four colors in one pen, with the added bonus of gel-like writing in the form of a ball-pen that’s suited for smooth operators everywhere.
  • BIC 4 Color Fashion: Fashionistas take note! These options – available in three packs or two packs – offer fashion-forward ink colours to add personal style to note taking or bullet journalling. Colours go beyond the basics to include an entire spectrum of choices.
  • BIC 4 Color with Grip: This option adds a comfortable grip to the 4 Color benefits, making it ideal for prolonged writing or journaling sessions.

The Write Stuff

Canadians are still putting pen (and pencil) to paper, to great benefit and BIC encourages you to find your own writing rhythm. Whether you adopt colour coding for better study habits, to organize your lists or to add depth to your journaling, BIC offers products and ideas to enhance your every day. To learn more about the importance of handwriting, find resources, or discover products to promote penmanship, visit the BIC website.

* These findings are from a survey conducted by BIC Canada from May 9th to May 13th, 2024, among a representative sample of 1,500 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/-2.53 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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